On This Day December 26

History Highlights

1898 – In a landmark moment for chemistry and physics, French scientists Pierre and Marie Curie publish a paper announcing their discovery of the element of radium (Ra). The groundbreaking discovery later garners the husband and wife team the Nobel Prize.

1946 – Mobster Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel opens the Flamingo Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, aiming to establish a stylish and cosmopolitan gambling destination in the Nevada desert. Siegel closes the resort just two weeks later due to lackluster business, and the following June, he is killed in a mob hit. After undergoing multiple ownership changes through the years, the Flamingo is still in operation as the oldest casino on the Vegas Strip.

1966 – Kwanzaa is observed for the first time. The seven-day holiday with strong African roots was designed by Dr. Maulana Karenga, the chair of Black Studies at California State University at Long Beach, as a celebration of African American family, community and culture.

1972 – Harry S. Truman, the 33rd U.S. president, dies in Independence, Missouri at the age of 88.

1973 – “The Exorcist” opens in movie theaters across the U.S., terrifying audiences and establishing a new standard for the horror genre. Based on William Peter Blatty’s 1971 novel of the same name, the Oscar- and Golden Globe-winning movie is about a girl, played by Linda Blair, that is possessed by an evil spirit.

1974 – Cancer claims the life of beloved comedian Jack Benny at the age of 80.

1982 – TIME magazine breaks from tradition when the magazine’s editors replace the annual “Man of the Year” cover story with “Machine of the Year” and profile the personal computer.

1996 – Six-year-old beauty queen JonBenét Ramsey is found beaten and strangled in the basement of her family’s Boulder, Colorado home. Her murder becomes the focus one of most intensive and publicized police investigations in U.S. history and remains unsolved to this day.

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All Things Must Pass

George Harrison

Super Fly

Curtis Mayfield

Kwanzaa: Black Power and the Making of the African-American Holiday Tradition

Keith A. Mayes

The Exorcist

Starring Linda Blair, Max von Sydow and Ellen Burstyn, and directed by William Friedkin

Tearing Down the Wall of Sound: The Rise and Fall of Phil Spector

Mick Brown

Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls

David Sedaris

On This Day September 24

Musical Milestones

History Highlights

1789 – Congress passes and President George Washington signs the Judiciary Act of 1789 into law, establishing the U.S. Supreme Court as a tribunal comprised of six justices who were to serve until they voluntarily step down, retire or die. 

1941 – The Japanese consul in Hawaii is instructed to divide Pearl Harbor into five zones, calculate the number of battleships in each zone and report the findings back to Japan. Unbeknownst to U.S. military officials, this information is used to lay the groundwork for Japan’s devastating December 7, 1941 attack.

1957 – President Dwight Eisenhower orders federal troops to escort nine African American students, nicknamed the “Little Rock Nine,” into the previously all-white Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. 

1968 – One of television’s longest-running news magazines debuts on CBS. It’s “60 Minutes,” with hosts Harry Reasoner and Mike Wallace presenting documentary-style coverage of the week’s news.

1969 – The trial of the “Chicago 8” begins. The band of protesters is accused of conspiracy and inciting a riot during the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago. 

1977 – “The Love Boat” sets out on its maiden TV voyage on ABC, featuring a cruise ship full of celebrity passengers with tales of romance found and hearts broken. 

1988 – Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson runs the 100-meter dash in 9.79 seconds to win gold at the Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea. However, Johnson tests positive for steroids three days later and is stripped of the medal, which is instead awarded to American Carl Lewis.

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1999

Prince

Nevermind (Remastered)

Nirvana

Warriors Don't Cry

Melba Pattillo Beals

Fifty Years of 60 Minutes

Jeff Fager

Jim Henson: The Biography

Brian Jay Jones

The Great Gatsby

F. Scott Fitzgerald

On this Day May 25

History Highlights

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Bookends

Simon & Garfunkel

Make It Big

Wham!, featuring George Michael

American Moonshot: John F. Kennedy and the Great Space Race

Douglas Brinkley

Star Wars The Digital Six Film Collection

George Lucas

Gods and Monsters

Starring Sir Ian McKellan, Brendan Fraser and Lynn Redgrave, and directed by Bill Condon

Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery

Starring Mike Myers, Elizabeth Hurley and Michael York, and dorected by Jay Roach